KCRW's Art TalkSupport KCRW's public radio podcasts. Join online at KCRW.com or call 800-600-5279. Art reviews, news and announcements from Edward Goldman. Edward Goldman is an art consultant for private and corporate collectors. Email him at email@example.com. Or call him at 310-314-4660 ext 280.
Support KCRW's public radio podcasts. Join online at KCRW.com or call 800-600-5279. Art reviews, news and announcements from Edward Goldman. Edward Goldman is an art consultant for private and corporate collectors. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call him at 310-314-4660 ext 280.
After 31 years of covering Art and Culture in Southern California, this is the last Art Talk that I am presenting on KCRW. It has been a privilege and an honor, my friends – and I mean that sincerely – to speak to you for three decades about the Arts in our City of Angels. Installation shots, Alex Israel at the Huntington. 2016. The Huntington. Photos by Edward Goldman. When I started my Art Talks, the LA art scene was so much smaller. Back then, after finishing each program, I would scratch my head wondering, "How the hell am I going to find something equally interesting and important to talk about next week?" Today, years later, with an art scene so vibrant, prominent, and vastly bigger, my weekly concern is, "How the hell am I going to choose what to talk about next week, with so many amazing cultural events happening right now?" Several years ago, I had a rather amusing conversation with a successful New York art dealer, who decided to close his gallery in Chelsea and move his business and family toLA. When I jokingly asked him, "Hey, have you lost your mind, leaving New York?" His response was, "Let me tell you, Edward – Today, Los Angeles has become a destination for art, just like New York was for Paris, after WWII." I was awestruck by his succinct and profound response. Of course, after WWII, so much of the European Avant-Garde started to move across the Atlantic to New York. In the last decade, we've seen a similar magnetic affect attracting famous artists and art businesses West, turning LA into a major global art destination. Exterior of The Broad museum. Photo by Edward Goldman. In the last few years, Los Angeles added to its cultural luster two ambitious private art museums: The Broad and The Marciano Art Foundation. And another major institution, the $1-billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, is scheduled to open next year in Exposition Park. Installation shots: James hd Brown: Life and Work in Mexico. 2017. USC Fisher Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. Let's not forget that some of our Los Angeles cultural institutions have a long history. The Huntington Library and LA Philharmonic are celebrating their 100th year anniversaries, and the USC Fisher Museum of Art is marking its 80th anniversary. Being an art critic for KCRW gave me the pleasure and privilege to meet and interview world renowned figures of American culture, including Phillipe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Art Museum, who stunned me by reciting some Russian poetry – and doing it in Russian – the language he had studied in college. Screen shot from Philippe de Montebello: Tempus fugit, ars brevis on Youtube And God knows how I survived interviewing Richard Avedon. I told him how much I admired his work and described one photograph of his that I particularly loved. He paused, and then said, "Edward, you're giving me a compliment that I don't deserve. I wish it was my photograph, but actually it's by Irving Penn." Ouch. When I heard that, I wanted to die. But Richard, in spite of my faux pas, continued to be gracious and charming throughout the rest of the interview. Installation shot: Avedon: Women at Gagosian Beverly Hills. Photo by Edward Goldman. My friends, I've been talking to you about the Los Angeles art scene for 31 years. There are so many wonderful memories, and more to come... In this final program, I want to tell you how grateful I am to you for listening to my Russian-English all these years. I'd love to keep hearing from you. You can keep in touch with me through my email: email@example.com and follow me on social media, to stay up to date with all the latest art happenings in LA. So, let me end with a famous Latin saying, "Ars Longa, Vita Brevis," which reminds us that life is short, but art is forever... Installation shot: Yayoi Kusama. With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray, 2011. Marciano Art Foundation. Photo by Edward Goldman.
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The Provocative and Explicit Art of Sarah Lucas
OK, my friends. The subject of today's Art Talk is the provocative and explicit art of British artist Sarah Lucas, currently on display at Hammer Museum. The tongue-in- cheek title of the exhibition, Au Naturel, is a French phrase meaning "in the nude." And nudity – plenty of nudity – fills the many museum galleries in the form of sculptures, photographs, videos, and installations. L & R: Installation shots: Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel. Hammer Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. Born in 1962, Sarah Lucas received recognition as a member of the Young British Artists (YBA), a group of artists who gained notoriety in the 1980s for breaking norms of propriety. Now, three decades later, Sarah Lucas has distinguished herself as one of the most influential British artists. In numerous photographic portraits of the artist, we see her exuding self-confidence and plenty of attitude. Yes, she is a badass. The cigarette sticking out her mouth in one photo echoes other cigarettes sticking out of orifices in plaster sculptures of a woman's body from the waist down. Installation shot: Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel. Hammer Museum. Photo by Edward Goldman I know her work is a little bit shocking, but the artist presents these plaster female naked bodies with a touch of absurdity, humor, and critique: leaning over tables or sitting on top of desks with legs spread. It's up to us to make sense of what's going on. Behind one of her naked plaster sculptures is the remnants of a performance during which women threw 1000 eggs against a wall, alluding to women's rights to control their own bodies. Installation shot: Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel. Hammer Museum. Photo by Edward Goldman. For thousands of years, the female body and sexual desire were the object of the male gaze in art – but, Sarah Lucas presents the female body with a sense of parody and drama. Don't feel guilty if you giggle a little bit, looking at her "Bunny" sculptures made from stuffed nylon stockings. These life-size anthropomorphic forms are congregated around and on top of a billiard table, a site usually a gathering place for men. Installation shot: Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel. Hammer Museum. Center: Eros, 2013. Cast concrete, crushed car. Right: Hoolian, 2013. Cast bronze. Photo by Edward Goldman. And now, with reluctance, let me try to describe the most provocative presentation of male sexuality and aggression in the show, a sculpture titled Eros. A gigantic white concrete sculpture of a phallus sits atop a crushed car, and the phallus is aimed at a wall- sized photograph of a woman with a raw whole chicken on top of her underwear, suggesting a vaginal opening. The only other female artist I can think of who so fearlessly dealt with such subject matter was Louise Bourgeois. These ladies and their art have balls... Installation shot: Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel. Hammer Museum. Foreground: Eros, 2013. Cast concrete, crushed car. Background: Christ You Know It Ain't Easy, 2003. Fiberglass, cigarettes. Photo by Edward Goldman. Sorry, my friends, but there is no way for me to talk about the life-size sculpture of a crucified Jesus covered with hundreds of cigarettes without again talking about the phallic Eros sculpture in front of it. Without exception, images of the crucifixion present Jesus with cloth modestly draped over his waist. But this installation that juxtaposes "cigarette Christ" and a massive phallus makes you think that church and religion are not perfect, but like us human beings, are full of imperfection. Sarah Lucas. Christ You Know It Ain't Easy, 2003. Fiberglass, cigarettes. Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel. Hammer Museum. Photo by Edward Goldman. This must-see exhibition runs through September 1 – and, make sure you go to see it without your in-laws or children by your side.
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Art and Empire in San Diego
Walking into Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain at the San Diego Museum of Art, a map on the wall reveals the geography behind the world's most far -reaching empire from the 17th to 18th centuries. Red arrows describe the extensive trade routes from the Iberian Peninsula to New Spain, from much of what is now Southern California to the tip of South America, as well as the Caribbean, Philippines and parts of Italy and Belgium. The enormous wealth that resulted enabled unprecedented patronage by the church and monarchy, bringing masterpieces of Italian and Flemish art to Spain in the 1500s evident in paintings here by Peter Paul Rubens. This impacted artists of the Iberian peninsula and the show includes paintings by Velázquez, Zurbarán and El Greco. Juan Sánchez Cotán (Spain, 1560–1627)Still Life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, ca. 1602. Oil on canvas, 27 1/8 x 33 1/4 in. (69 x 84.5 cm) The San Diego Museum of Art, Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, 1945 The point, however, is that the influences spread widely with Spanish artists emigrating to the colonies to live, teach and produce art for the emerging wealthy classes. Those artists as well as craftsmen and jewelers were in turn influenced by their time spent in the existing cultures of these many regions along with with trade with China and the Ottoman Empire. Organized by the museum's curator Dr. Michael Brown, with more than 100 works in this show, the entire idea of a national art is overturned in favor of a global perspective. At the outset, there are surprises including delightful Portrait of a Spanish Prince (1573) by the Milanese Sofonisba Anguissola, the most famouse woman artist of her time who came to Spain as tutor of Isabel of Valois, wife of the king. If her name is not familiar, there are two adjacent portraits of King Philip IV, the great Spanish patron, by Diego Velázquez, one from 1623, at the outset of his reign, the other decades later, showing the effects of struggle and age. Both artists were courtiers with diplomatic duties and portraits painted by them and others were used to establish legitimacy and legacy through the two dozen realms controlled by Spain. This extended to the most elevated figures of the Catholic church. Miguel Cabrera (Mexico, 1695–1768) Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 1750. Oil on canvas, 77 1/2 x 57 1/2 in. (196.8 x 146 cm) Museo Nacional de Historia, INAH, Mexico City, Mexico One of the most remarkable is a portrait of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1750) by the Mexican artist Miguel Cabrera. She sits at a desk in a library symbolic of her status as one of the great intellects and poets in Spain. Cabrera also painted the 1759 Virgin of Guadalupe with Apparitions, the story of Mary's appearance to the peasant Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoazin, an image that remains potent to this day. Cabrera melded the gilding and lapidary colors of High Renaissance art to this story of humility and grace. Miguel Cabrera (Mexican, 1695-1768), Virgin of Guadalupe with Apparitions, 1759. Oil and tempera on canvas, 72 13/16 x 40 9/16 in. Pérez Simón Collection Following the Council of Trent in 1563, the church established guidelines for carrying the message to the people regardless of education or position. Spain became the leading force in the Counter Reformation, the response to the Protestant Reformation. Saints and archangels and narratives of good and evil abound in painting and polychromed, gilded wood carvings. Devotion emerges in much of the art and a chapel-like gallery has been built for a number of those paintings where the atmosphere is enhanced by a soft recording of Lux Eterna, sacred music written in 1997 by contemporary Morton Lauridsen. Francisco de Zurbarán (Spain, 1598–1664)Saint Francis in Meditation, 1635–39. Oil on canvas, 59 7/8 x 39 in. (152 x 99 cm) National Gallery, London, Bought, 1853 Even still life painting is freighted with spiritual symbolism including the pellucid realism of Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán, with a heartbreaking Agnes Dei (1635-1640), the lamb of God lying with feet bound, ready for slaughter, but endowed with a silvery halo above its curly head. It's hard to imagine a better location for this show, either. The San Diego Museum of Art was built for the 1915 Panama- California Exposition, which was one of the first to applaud Spanish culture, and the building has five of the artists built into its facade — Velázquez, Zurbarán, Murillo, Ribera and El Greco. But this is the first time they have all been included in an exhibition there. It is worth the trip. The show continues through Sep 2.
The photographic exhibition at the Getty Museum, Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story, will break your heart, make you think and hope, and even smile a little. In the early 1960s, Gordon Parks was already a well-known photographer. So, it was no surprise that he was chosen by LIFE magazine to go to Brazil to report about the extreme poverty in Rio de Janeiro. It was pure serendipity that Parks connected with a 12-year-old boy there, Flávio da Silva, and his family, living in the unimaginable poverty of a Brazilian favela. Installation shots: Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story. Getty Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. This encounter dramatically changed the life of the boy and made a strong impact on Gordon Parks, as well. And, when the photographs of the malnourished boy suffering from asthma were published in LIFE magazine in 1961, it created an unprecedented sympathetic response from the American public. Installation shot: Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story. Getty Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. Readers sent the magazine more than $26,000 in donations for the da Silva family, which is the equivalent of about one-quarter of a million dollars today. Parks returned to Brazil and witnessed a big change in the life of the boy. The donations collected by LIFE provided a modest home for the da Silva family. L: Installation shot: Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story. Getty Museum. R: Gordon Parks. Untitled (Flávio da Silva). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 1976. Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story. Getty Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. More importantly, Parks was able to bring Flávio to the United States, to Denver, to treat his illnesses. Their relationship turned into a friendship that continued over the next four decades, until Parks' death in 2006. This exhibition, installed to a particularly dramatic effect, tells this story, worthy of a Hollywood movie. Henri Ballot. L: Child Crying at the Window. Manhattan, NY. 1961. R: Neighborhood of the Gonzalez Family. Manhattan, NY. 1961. Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story. Getty Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. Brazilians were so shocked and upset by what they considered a one-sided, negative representation of Brazilian life that they staged a political and cultural coup, sending a Brazilian photographer to New York City to document the poverty and anguish in the US. These photos are highlighted in the Getty's exhibition. Believe it or not, some Brazilians accused Gordon Parks of staging his photographs. In response to that accusation, American press claimed that Brazilian magazine O Cruzeiro manipulated their images of New York's poverty, as well. Hmm... It turns out the "fake news" debate is not a new phenomenon at all... Installation shot: Terry Allen: The Exact Moment It Happens in the West. LA Louver. Photo by Edward Goldman. The Terry Allen exhibition at LA Louver gallery is another example of multifaceted storytelling. I don't know about you, but until I saw this exhibition, I only knew of Terry Allen as a musician. But, it turns out that he is also a well-known playwright and an exceptional visual artist. This exhibition covers his creative career from the 60s to present, and includes nearly 100 drawings, plus sculptures, video installations, and audio from his various albums. Installation shot: Terry Allen: The Exact Moment It Happens in the West. LA Louver. Photo by Edward Goldman. I was taken by the humor and edginess of his earlier, cartoon inspired drawings. But, looking at his recent works made 50 years later, I saw a level of sophistication and maturity that can only come from a life of learning. This exhibition made me wonder why Gods and Muses, on rare occasions, give so much talent to one person... be sure to see this exhibition more than once to learn about his art, his music, and his writing.
These Dance Performances Were Music To My Eyes and Ears
The last two weekends, I enjoyed four nights of amazing dance performances – two times on stage, at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and two times on the silver screen, at Laemmle's Royal theatre. Screenshot from The Royal Ballet - Mayerling | Three Performances at The Music Center. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=wbw4JFuIl1c After 24 years, The Royal Ballet returned to Los Angeles to perform its signature work, Mayerling, created by famous choreographer Kenneth MacMillan in 1978. Set in 19 th century Vienna, it tells the story of royal dangerous liaisons with the death of an Austro- Hungarian Prince and his teenage mistress. Sumptuous set design. Gorgeous costumes. Amazing dancers. All this impressed me, but, to be completely honest, it didn't emotionally engage me as much as I had hoped it would. As a pure coincidence, two days later, I went to see another performance by The Royal Ballet, this time, Romeo and Juliet, set to Prokofiev's iconic score, with original choreography by MacMillan from 1965. It was filmed during a live performance at The Royal Opera House and presented by Laemmle theatre here in LA. This time, I was completely and fully engaged by the dancers who told the heartbreaking story by Shakespeare, fortified by Prokofiev's music. Another two days passed, and I found myself back at Laemmle Royal – this time, to watch a filmed performance of Swan Lake, with choreography by Matthew Bourne, in which all the swans are male dancers. Talk about a challenging and eyebrow-raising interpretation of a classical ballet... I give it a high-five. Outlier from Adés and McGregor: A Dance Collaboration. Company Wayne McGregor. The Music Center. Photo by Ravi Deepres. Courtesy The Music Center. Last Saturday, I was back at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, for another evening of dance performances – this time, a collaboration between The Royal Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the direction of composer and conductor Thomas Adés, returned to Dorothy Chandler for the first time since the orchestra moved to Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. Outlier from Adés and McGregor: A Dance Collaboration. Company Wayne McGregor. The Music Center. Photo by Andrew Lang. Courtesy The Music Center. Watching the dancers perform impossibly difficult movements with unbelievable lightness, one could have thought that Gods and Muses gave them an extra vertebra. It was an extremely sensual and seductive presentation. Living Archive: An AI Performance Experiment from Adés and McGregor: A Dance Collaboration. World Premiere featuring dancers from Company Wayne McGregor. Top: Jacob O' Connell and Chien-Shun Liao. Bottom: Rebecca Bassett-Graham and Izzac Carroll. Photos by Cheryl Mann. Courtesy The Music Center. The most intriguing part of the program that evening for me was Living Archive: An AI Performance Experiment, which included a video installation by Ben Cullen Williams. Who knows? This artificial intelligence tool developed in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture Lab might have been an opening into the future of ballet theatre. The Dante Project (Inferno) from Adés and McGregor: A Dance Collaboration. World Premiere featuring dancers from The Royal Ballet. Edward Watson and artists of The Royal Ballet. Photo by Cheryl Mann. Courtesy The Music Center. The most anticipated program of the evening was the dance world premiere of The Dante Project Part 1 (Inferno), with set and costume design by famous British artist Tacita Dean. Dark, moody, and spectacular... that's how it felt to me. Dante Project (Inferno) from Adés and McGregor: A Dance Collaboration. World Premiere featuring dancers from The Royal Ballet. Matthew Ball and Francesca Hayward. Photo by Cheryl Mann. Courtesy The Music Center. Here we are with Virgil and Dante, traveling through the netherworld – but, the music score of Inferno by Adés with the choreography of McGregor made me feel like I was in paradise. With all these dance performances over the last ten days, I was as visually informed, engaged, and challenged as I would expect to be visiting art galleries and museums. It was music to my eyes, and ears.
These Dance Performances Were Music To My Eyes and Ears
These People and Animals Compete For Our Attention
It's been almost 50 years since John Baldessari (b. 1931), one of the most famous American artists, printed a lithograph with a written statement, "I will not make any more boring art". And, boy, has he kept that promise all these years... the current exhibition of his prints at Laguna Art Museum is perfect proof that Baldessari has always been able to grab our attention. Installation shot: I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art: Prints by John Baldessari. Laguna Art Museum. Photo by Edward Goldman. His best-known works are based on photographs – some of them appropriated, some made by the artist himself. The faces of people in his prints are hidden by color blocks. We see these people engaged in activities and social interactions, but their personal identities and emotions are masked. Many of his compositions have a sense of humor, and a touch of criticism. This exhibition presents over 70 prints from the private collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, which holds an impression of almost every print Baldessari has made to date. Installation shots: Sculptures by Gwynn Murrill. Laguna Art Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. Another solo exhibition at Laguna Art Museum presents work by Los Angeles artist Gwynn Murrill (b. 1942), who is well-known for her sculptures of animals in bronze, wood, and marble. And while Baldessari hides the personality of his characters, Murrill gives each animal their own unique personality. Installation shots: Sculptures by Gwynn Murrill. Laguna Art Museum. Photos by Edward Goldman. Every time I look at Gwynn Murrill's animals, I am tempted to touch them, not only with my eyes, but my hands as well, to experience the sensuality of their smooth, polished surfaces. Eric Fischl. The Exchange, 2018. Oil on linen. Image courtesy Sprüth Magers. The exhibition by Eric Fischl (b. 1948) at Sprüth Magers gallery is his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in 25 years. In the 1970s, Fischl studied at CalArts. And, one of his professors was John Baldessari. It was a time when focus within the school was on conceptual art. In spite of that, Fischl, without any formal training as a painter, started to experiment with abstract painting. At the opening of the exhibition, Eric Fischl talked about how much he disliked his early abstract paintings, which he eventually stopped making. After I heard his talk, I checked out his website for these images, and I immediately realized why he stopped making these abstract paintings. While Baldessari, his teacher, promised not to make more boring art, Fischl, his student, decided to stop making bad paintings. It was a good decision. Eric Fischl. On the Beach, 2019. Oil on linen. Image courtesy Sprüth Magers. As a result, Fischl started to make figurative paintings, often using his own photographs to inspire their compositions. Fischl shows his characters engaged with each other, but not necessarily with us. Clearly, these people, some of them nude, are not aware they are being watched. Their personalities are not his focus. Instead, we observe them moving past blue oceans, pools, and skies in somewhat awkward, often unflattering positions. But, what makes these new paintings particularly appealing to me is his dramatic, open, and wild brushwork. And, even though Fischl abandoned abstract painting decades ago, it has reappeared in a much more sophisticated and subtle way in his new work. There aren't too many artists who, in the 8th decade of their life, produce the best works of their career.
These People and Animals Compete For Our Attention
When talking about the L.A art scene in the 1960s, the name of the Ferus Gallery is foremost. Founded in 1957 by Walter Hopps with artist Ed Kienholz, it was a free-wheeling operation initially showing artists from the Bay Area alongside the L.A. set. But Ferus was not the first gallery started by Hopps. That would have been Syndell, opened in 1954 in West L.A. with his friend Jim Newman. They had become friends a few years earlier while students at Stanford where they spent as much time organizing jazz concerts as studying. After his first year, Hopps returned to his native L.A. to attend UCLA, Newman went on to Oberlin College. They remained friends. Neither expected to become a conventional art dealer but opened Syndell with the idea of supporting the artists they knew who were challenging ideas about making art in the 1950s, especially in abstract sculpture or assemblage. After his experience at Syndell, Newman and Beat poet Bob Alexander started Dilexi in San Francisco in 1955. At that time, the city was considered the apex of culture with a museum dedicated to modern art as well as a growing counter culture. Though Hopps had left Ferus to become curator and director of the Pasadena Art Museum, many of the Ferus artists continued to show at Dilexi in San Francisco. Newman opened a short- lived L.A. venue down the street from Ferus in 1963 with the Rolf Nelson as director. Newman, who parted from Alexander after the first year, remained closer to artists who lived and worked in the Bay Area. This summer, the fascinating but rarely studied history of Dilexi Gallery (1958-1969) is the focus of a group of shows in four galleries in L.A. and two in San Francisco. Some of the artists are well-known, others deserve to be. Co- organized by Laura Whitcomb, an independent curator, a catalog is forthcoming. The largest portion of the exhibition opens this Saturday, June 22, at The Landing, a large warehouse of a space on Jefferson Blvd.. Titled Disparate Ontologies, the exhibition includes a wide-ranging group of works by more than two dozen artists that conveys the taste for experimentation that Newman embraced. The progressive nature of San Francisco, with artist-run exhibition spaces and progressive art schools, meant that there was a growing interest in dance, Happenings and film-related art. One of the big moments in this show is a rare 1958 expressive abstract painting by Robert Morris just as his choreographer wife, Simone Forti had interested him in dance and movement. Soon after, they moved to New York, where those interests evolved as key components of his Minimalist art of the '60s. Robert Morris. Untitled, 1959. Oil on canvas. 71 x 71 in. 180.3 x 180.3 cm The interest in abstract expressionist painting that dominated the Bay Area can be seen in powerful pieces by Hassel Smith and Frank Lobdell. It can also be seen in the early work of L.A.- based artists like Ed Moses and Craig Kauffman. All showed at Ferus so the show proves the regular migration of artists and the constant recycling of ideas between the two cities. Joe Goode. Bo, 1962. Oil on canvas with painted milk bottle. 67 x 67 in. 170.2 x 170.2 cm. On loan from the collection of Dallas Price and Bob Van Breda The Landing show also includes a major 1963 Milk Bottle painting by Joe Goode, who had his first solo show at the Dilexi in L.A. But Newman's enduring legacy turned out to be his support of music, film and performance. After closing Dilexi in 1969, he funded 35 Happenings and produced films of work by Terry Riley, Sun Ra and Walter De Maria which were shown on KQED in San Francisco in the years before such work could be seen in any sort of public way. Many of these programs and some live performances will be held at The Landing over the course of the show, which continues to August 10. At Parker Gallery, which is located in a series of rooms on the ground floor of a large Tudor style h ouse in Los Feliz, the selection of 14 works is titled Seeking The Unknown. On a pedestal near the front door stands an exceptional tablet-shaped sculpture by the mystic artist Jess, which remains in Newman's own collection. Jess. Variations on Durer's Melcancholia I, 1960. Collage on paper, Art Nouveau frame, mixed media. 38 x 24 x 20 inches. Collection Jim Newman and Jane Ivory This work of collaged panels of black and white illustrations is set within a voluptuous bronze-colored frame. Peach-colored velvet on the reverse is set with silver sequins that state the title: Variations on Durer's Melancholia (1960). An icon of the Bay Area scene, Jess was known for his "paste- ups," collages of carefully cut-out bits of illustrations and photographs. Along with his partner, poet Robert Duncan, he pursued research on arcane theories from the distant and recent past. A fascination with arcane and ancient spiritual beliefs was embraced by poets, artists and musicians of the Bay Area. The very name of Dilexi was taken from the Latin, "to select, to value highly, to love." The show at Parker includes a 1965 Verifax collage by Wallace Berman, whose inaugural show at Ferus was shut down as erotic by the LAPD, which prompted his move to Northern California. Eccentricity was in large supply especially in the paintings of Roy De Forest, who had the most shows at Dilexi. One of his early constructions Napoleon on St. Helena (1961) is a collection of molded and painted organic shapes mounted on a rectangle of painted white wood. The show continues through August 10. Another aspect of Dilexi is called Totems and Phenomenology at Parrasch Heijnin downtown, opening Saturday, June 22. Tony DeLap, Modern Times, 1966, wood, fiberglass, and lacquer, 39 x 67-1/2 x 39 inches. Image courtesy of Parrasch Heijnen Gallery With work by five artists, it highlights the interest in perception that activated the work of Tony DeLap and Charles Ross. These artists were interested in ideas about mindfulness and seeing and spiritual presence. The show continues to Aug. 10. Jay DeFeo. Untitled (Berkeley), 1953. tempera and acrylic with paper collage on rag board. 22 1/8 x 28 inches 29 7/8 x 35 7/8 x 2 inches, framed. "Berkeley '53" on verso in pencil in artist's hand A key figure of LA and San Francisco art of the 1960s was Jay De Feo. A show of her work will open on July 13 at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. Meanwhile, Dilexi Gallery: The Early Years is at Brian Gross Fine Art in San Francisco through July 27. Also in San Francisco, Crown Point Press is featuring Fred Martin's 1967 publication Beulah Land. Taken together, these exhibitions complicate and fulfill a history that is still being written. All the galleries deserve credit for starting to fill in those large gaps in the story.